The Pockley family

Examine the images below and answer the discussion questions.

The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) on their way to New Guinea, 1914.

  1. This was the first group of soldiers to depart from Australia. How do they appear in this photograph? How do you think they might have been feeling?

  2. What expectations do you think they might have had?

Able Seaman William Williams, c. 1914.

Able Seaman William Williams was the first Australian wounded in the First World War and he later died as a result of his injuries. William's death was reported in newspapers across Australia.

  1. How might this news have affected perceptions of war at home in Australia?

H. Septimus Power, Stretcher Bearers 1922, oil on canvas, 69 x 94 cm

H. Septimus Power travelled to France in 1917 as an official war artist, where he witnessed the actions of stretcher bearers firsthand.

  1. How have the stretcher bearers been depicted in his painting?

  2. How has he emphasised the dangers associated with their role?

John's grave at Hangard Wood, c. 1918-1919.

John's grave could not be located after the Armistice in spite of the assistance provided by the Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau of the Australian Red Cross.

  1. Investigate the role of this organisation. How did they provide assistance to families anxiously waiting to hear about the fate of their loved ones?